August 15, 2020

MONTANA GUN GROUP DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM POLITICAL PRACTICES MOTL MISTAKES USED TO JUSTIFY DEROGATORY DECISION

Press Release from the Montana Shooting Sports Association:

(August 27, 2016)
MISSOULA – Montana’s primer advocate for gun owners has demanded answers to critical questions from the political appointee currently enforcing campaign laws in Montana.  Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) sent a letter
Friday to Jonathan Motl, the controversial Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP), asking how the Commissioner could justify using wrong facts in a Decision derogatory to MSSA.
Marbut says that Motl’s handling of a Complaint about MSSA showed bias and impropriety from the beginning because Motl chose to not publish Marbut’s April 14th Response
to the Complaint in the public space of the COPP Website, although Motl did choose to publish both the Complaint and his Decision there. “This one-sided use of public funds makes the Commissioner’s effort look like a dedicated attempt to smear MSSA and me,” Marbut said.  About Motl’s publication of the Complaint but non-publication of Marbut’s Response, Marbut’s letter asks, “Am I being treated fairly?”
In his August 16th Decision,
Motl claims that Marbut and/or MSSA violated public disclosure law when a submitted form failed to include a list of candidates MSSA would support in the 2014 Primary Election.  However, the Decision also admits that the required list was indeed submitted. (Finding of Fact No 14:)  “The Commissioner determines that the disclosure set out in FOF No. 14 meets the requirements of Montana law.” (Decision, Page 8)  The problem, it seems, is that COPP attached the MSSA-provided list to the wrong COPP form when two forms and the list arrived in the same envelope at the COPP office.  This error by COPP, Motl claims, proves that MSSA broke the law.
In his August 25th letter to Motl, Marbut asks if it wasn’t actually COPP that “fell short of its responsibility to keep the public informed by failing to attach the provided list of candidates to the correct COPP form.”
Motl’s Decision also faults MSSA for not providing quarterly Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports to COPP.  Motl’s Decision states, “… MSSA filed no copies of its federal PAC (Political Action Committee, GM) reports with COPP.”  (Decision, Page 4)  Rebutting this factually incorrect claim by COPP, Marbut offers evidence in his letter to Motl that he sent 37 quarterly FEC reports (also publicly available from the FEC Website), not just the four reports Motl wanted, to COPP by email when asked for them by COPP.  Marbut also offers to send Motl a copy of the email in which COPP acknowledged receipt of this decade of FEC reports.
In the section of Marbut’s letter addressing this SNAFU by COPP, Marbut asks, “Does this flaw cause COPP to have failed in its due diligence to have properly investigated this matter before issuing its derogatory Decision?”
In his letter, Marbut asks several other relevant questions about Motl’s conduct, rationale, and conclusions in this matter.
Commissioner Motl has shown a history of feeding his side of a case to the media, while those subject to his enforcement action suffer bad publicity in legally advisable silence.  In order to correct this unfair advantage wielded by Motl, Marbut has chosen to go public with his Response to the original Complaint (previously hidden from public view by Motl) and with his related questions for Motl about the recent Decision.  Marbut says, “With fair, open, and equal public disclosure of the false facts used by Motl to justify his Decision in this case, and exposure of a biased process, let the public examine those facts and make up their own minds.”
Marbut concluded, “The power inherent in government offices must not be used in attempt to punish or silence political opposition.  The people will not allow that to become standard practice to be used by whatever clique is currently in power.”
 – 30 –
Information:  Gary Marbut, 549-1252 or gary(AT)marbut(DOT)com
Original Complaint:
Response to Complaint:
COPP Decision:
Letter of questions about Decision:
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Political Practices ruling and MSSA

Dear MSSA Friends,
Several months ago former Republican legislator from Billings, Don Roberts, filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP), claiming that the MSSA Political Action Committee had done a number of nefarious things that were in violation of Montana campaign finance laws.  That Complaint, if you can understand it, is at:
I responded to the Complaint with a letter posted here:
The various claims made by Roberts are restated in my Response, so it’s easier to understand this if you read through my Response.
You may hear in the news that the COPP has just released his Decision in this case, at:
The essence of the decision is that the COPP found MSSA violated campaign finance laws in two respects:
1.  When I filed the MSSA PAC with the COPP in 2014, two forms were filed on the same day.  On one form were listed the 18 candidates in who’s races the PAC would take a position.  The COPP holds that those 18 candidates should have been listed by names on BOTH forms filed, and to omit them on one form was a sneaky attempt to deprive the public of critical information.
2.  I have also maintained a separate, federal PAC, the MSSA Political Committee, which reports quarterly to the Federal Elections Commission.  We raise money for that federal PAC with small donations, mostly at precision rifle matches.  Federal rules require reporting of the name, address, occupation, and employer of donors who contribute $200 or more.  Those federal reports are done quarterly.  Then when money is spent (and also reported to COPP) on in-state political activities, the COPP says that it is necessary to report the name, address, occupation and employer for all donors to the federal PAC who contributed $35 or more.  While taking this position, the COPP also admits that there is nothing illegal about the federal PAC collecting unitemized donations between $35 and $199 and then donating that money to the state PAC in (reported) lump sums.  So, the COPP says that while doing nothing illegal, the state PAC is trying to do an end run around state reporting by funneling money through the federal PAC, which COPP holds is illegal even though he admits it is legal (go figure).
What may be more important is that the COPP fined my Democrat opponent two years ago $200 for failing to report nearly half of her campaign expenditures, while fining a Republican $50,000 for essentially the same offense.
So, I’m talking with attorneys and preparing to contend with this threat to our ability to prevent our political voice from being suppressed by strained or unequal application of the laws.
Curiously the first news about this COPP Decision (according to Google), an AP story, broke today in the Washington Times:
The media may try to spin this as, “Dark Money Gun Group Violates Campaign Laws.”  You know the rest of the story.
Stay tuned for more …
Best wishes,
Gary Marbut
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Ban on Trapping and Why Wording For a Right to Hunt Amendment is Important

The following email came from Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association:

Dear MSSA Friends,

The media tells us that anti activists have gathered enough signatures to put I-177 on the November ballot, to ban trapping on public lands.

Isn’t this proposed law unconstitutional under the right to hunt, fish and trap that MSSA got into the Montana Constitution?

Yes.  See my comment for the record last September to MT DoJ about I-177 at:
http://www.progunleaders.org/Trapping/

However, the rules are that an initiative cannot be challenged for constitutionality until and unless it is approved by the voters and becomes law.  Until that occurs, you may spread the word that, among other serious problems, I-177 is a waste of effort and taxpayer resources because IF Montana courts follow the law I-177 will eventually be stricken as in violation of the Montana Constitution.
Best wishes,
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Lupus Mathematica

Observe! What you see is nothing but a plain, ordinary, black, top hat. Look inside! Nothing in it. I’m going to wave my magical wand and a wolf puppy will pop out of my hat. Or some such nonsense. Here’s an example of voodoo Lupus Mathematica when it comes to an all out effort to protect the disease-carrying varmints – regardless of the cost to humans.

The other day I read in a few Online news accounts where one headline read: “Panel Rejects Tripling Wolf Harvest Near Yellowstone.” (emphasis added) What a frightening proposition that anyone would even suggest the idea of needlessly slaughtering three times the number of wolves that are already taken by hunters and government agents. Isn’t that the reaction sought by the media? Did you swallow the bait?

“OMG! I heard that Montana has at least 700 or 800 wolves and that last year evil, mentally ill, hunters and government agents killed 200 wolves. OMG! If Montana had planned to triple the wolf harvest…OMG! That’s over 600 wolves!” as some ignorant environmentalist would exclaim. Isn’t that the reaction sought by the media?

However, that’s not true but it’s how people emotionally react and part of that training comes from irresponsible headlines that read that Montana decides not to TRIPLE the wolf harvest – Oh, did anybody seriously mention that harvest was only NEAR Yellowstone? In an area with more than enough wolves to go around?

A more honest approach to this non issue news story would be to first present how many wolves government officials allowed to be harvested last year in this same region NEAR Yellowstone – that would be TWO WOLVES!

Officials had recommended increasing that quota to SIX WOLVES! However, that figure just doesn’t sound so threatening to wolves as does a statement to TRIPLE the wolf harvest.

Get a life!

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National Access Funding Cements Montana Elk Habitat, Public Access Project

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, U.S. Forest Service and other partners permanently protected 800 acres of prime elk habitat while also improving access to approximately 5,500 acres of surrounding public land in southwest Montana.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been instrumental in our ability to secure recreational access to Montana’s public lands,” said Leanne Marten, Regional Forester of the Forest Service’s Northern Region. “Recreation is a major component of Montana’s economy and access to our forests is so important. We are proud that Zekes Meadow was the first use of the 2016 LWCF’s Priority Recreation Access appropriations in the National Forest System.”

“We are grateful to our partners for recognizing the conservation values of this particular project and its benefits for wildlife and public access,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “We also thank our congressional lawmakers for supporting LWCF funding and urge them to fully reauthorize this vital program currently set to expire in 2018.”

Located in Granite County west of Georgetown Lake within the Rock Creek watershed, including its headwaters, the property consists of two inholdings on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The southernmost portion features aspen-lined meadows and riparian habitat including Moose Meadow Creek which provides spawning grounds for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. The northern section includes a ponderosa pine-dominated forest, springs, wetlands and streams that are home to nearly 500 elk as well as moose, deer, grizzly bear, mountain lion and wolverine.

As part of the transaction, RMEF conveyed the land to the USFS for management purposes. The project connected more than 15 miles of public trails on land that was previously difficult to reach. Hunters, hikers, anglers and others now have access to the trailhead and can park on the USFS property.

“The landowners were willing to sell the entire property in order for the Forest Service to be able to extend public access across the land,” said Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Pintler District Ranger Charlene Bucha. “This access connects to an extensive system of trails within the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area and secures backcountry recreation for horseback riding, hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting.”

LWCF Recreational Access Funding is used by federal agencies to secure access for the American public to its federal lands. Agencies work with willing landowners to secure rights-of-ways, easements or fee simple lands that provide public access, or consolidate federal ownership so that the public has intact places to hike, hunt and fish.

In addition to LWCF Recreational Access Funding via the USFS, other funding partners include RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

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Wolves kill cattle in Absarokee area; Wildlife Services looks to eradicate pack

Two yearling heifers were killed by wolves near Absarokee on March 25, prompting Wildlife Services to set leg-hold snares near the cattle carcasses.The same Rosebud pack killed a yearling on a neighboring ranch along Fiddler Creek at the base of the Beartooth Front two months ago, according to John Steuber, state director of Montana Wildlife Services. The pack was also blamed for killing two calves last year — one in May and one in July.

Source: Wolves kill cattle in Absarokee area; Wildlife Services looks to eradicate pack | Outdoors | billingsgazette.com

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I Thought Wolf Delisting Law Prohibited Judicial Review

wolfutahIn March of 2011, I told readers that the Baucus/Tester rider bill on a federal budget continuing resolution was a fraud, corrupt, designed to exhort money and destroy urban America, deceptive, dishonest, political regurgitation, crooked, destructive, inequitable, preferential, and unconstitutional. I think I got all the bases covered. In short, I did not like it very much. I do recall on more than occasion saying that passage of this bill would come back and bite us all on the ass. The chickens have come home to roost.

First, a little history. Efforts by a small group of concerned citizens believing in the need for sensible wolf management and control, spent a great deal of time to get someone in Congress to work toward getting the Endangered Species Act amended, that would yield real results aimed at limiting the ability of environmental groups to bring frivolous lawsuits and managing wildlife through the court system.

Good and positive progress was made in Washington until another group of so-called sportsmen, decided their politics were more important than productive and equitable wildlife management. Having access to lots of money, they were successful in destroying the years of effort many of us had put in and in it’s place was born the rider bill to a budget continuing resolution brought by Senators Baucus and Tester.

*Note* – More information on the rider bill and the political shenanigans can be found here and here.

The “rider,” attached to the continuing resolution, reads as follows:

SEC. 1713. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09–CV–118J and 09–CV–138J on November 18, 2010.

*Note* – I added the links in this rider bill text for truth seekers interested in research. I also emboldened parts of the text.

On April 2, 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published in the Federal Register the plan to delist wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. This was challenged in the Courts and wolf delisting was repealed and wolves were placed back under protection of the Endangered Species Act. Subsequent attempts to delist, were, once again, met with lawsuits, until, out of frustration with trying to deal with a serious issue through normal channels, we ended up with passage of the rider bill shown above.

But did we then and do we now understand what that bill actually says? It is typical politician and lawyer mumbo-jumbo B.S., designed to deceive and leave wide open the door for further litigation and interpretation. (Defined as a way to make gobs more money.)

Dr. Charles Kay, wildlife ecology, Utah State University had said from the time of passage of the Baucus/Tester bill, that the wording of the bill is such that it ends the prohibition of litigation at the end of the mandated, 5-year monitoring period, which is found in 74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq. Upon hearing that environmental groups intended to sue the USFWS when the 5-year monitoring ended, Kay said, ““Congress said that the 2009 delisting regulations were the law of the land and that there was to be no more litigation regarding the 2009 regulations, which include a provision that the Feds monitor state management for 5 years before fully removing wolves from federal control……..Congress did not say that final removal of federal oversight could not be litigated.

What do you think the text means?

First we read that the Secretary of Interior must reissue the 2009 Final Rule to delist wolves. Simple enough. The text clearly states that the Final Rule has precedence or authority over any “statutes or regulations” that have been issued in this case. In other words, all previous court rulings from lawsuits brought after the initial filing of the 2009 Final Rule, are void.

Now comes the confusing words – I believe added by design (political bantering and corrupt back-scratching). Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review … Assuming that “including this section” means Sec. 1713 (shown above) then it must be interpreted to  mean that the passage of the continuing resolution, including Sec. 1713, cannot be challenged in a court of law.

I read the rest to mean that the “reissuance” of the 2009 Final Rule cannot be challenged in a court of law. What isn’t clear is whether or not the reissuance of the 2009 Final Rule can ever be challenged in a court of law. I see nothing in the above text that even prohibits lawsuits after the reissuance. All I read is that the act of reissuing a Final Rule cannot be challenged.

Perhaps a closer look at the actual Final Rule will shed more light. The Endangered Species Act requires that from the time of issuance of a Final Rule to remove a species from ESA protection, a period of, no less than, 5 years must be set aside for the USFWS to monitor the species and the actions of a state’s management plans and results. Inside that 5-year monitoring, the USFWS has authority to intervene and place a species back under federal protection if they so deem appropriate. In other words, the Feds have authority over the wolf management plan. After the 5-years, then what. Is the Final Rule null and void? If after the 5 years and the USFWS sees no further need to monitor the wolf, then isn’t it probable that from then into the future should the USFWS want to put wolves back under protection of the Endangered Species Act, they would have to begin the process all over again? Which would include no restrictions on lawsuits.

One might assume that under “normal” administration of the ESA and a final rule, that anyone would be free to petition and ultimately file a lawsuit intended to force the USFWS to continue monitoring of a species, should such a suit provide evidence to show a species may be in peril under existing circumstances. Because in this case, it is not normal, do environmentalist groups have freedom to challenge any part of the “reissuance” of the 2009 Final Rule?

Sec. 1713 of the Continuing Resolution says that the “reissuance” cannot be challenged. Now that the Final Rule has been reissued and the 5-year monitoring is near complete, can wolf delisting in Montana and Idaho be challenged?

I would assume that if it can, then any part of the delisting of wolves in Montana, Idaho or anywhere else in the United States can be challenged in a court of law. That being the case, then we should expect that with the past history of wolf litigation, along with the mostly bought-and-paid-for judges, wolves will systematically be declared endangered and will be federally protected anywhere the environmentalists would like for them to be, along with the help of the Courts.

Therefore, I return to my original anger when certain “sportsmen” groups used their own political agendas to destroy an effort in Congress that would have prevented such lawsuit nonsense. Instead, we are right back to square one where management of wolves is fully in the hands of the Courts.

In an email just the other day, I shared with a few recipients to remind them that the USFWS has never won a wolf lawsuit brought by environmentalists. As a matter of fact, I don’t think they have even challenged a court ruling on wolves.

Partisan politics, rooted in power hungry greed, destroys everything. That is why Washington is a dysfunctional cesspool of corruption and criminal activity.

 

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Wolf sighting prompts warning to school kids in Three Forks, Montana

The sighting was reported in an area north of Three Forks off of U.S. Highway 287 in the area of Wheatland Drive and Rolling Glenn.

Because of the sighting the three forks School District posted a warning to parents in the area – not to leave their kids unattended at nearby bus stops.

Source: Wolf sighting prompts warning in Three Forks – KRTV.com | Great Falls, Montana

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RMEF Project Protects Montana Elk Habitat, Expands Public Access

*Editor’s Note* – Perhaps because the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation transferred this land to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – land that abuts the Federal Government – the feds won’t have to stage a murder and lock innocent people in jail, in order to take the land away from the state when the Feds decide they need it. I also have to wonder if any of this land is rich in minerals, minerals that Hillary Clinton has already given to the Russians in exchange for billions of dollars that will go to the Clinton Foundation.

One DOES have to wonder about such things these days. RMEF should tread lightly, unless, of course, they are in on the conspiracy.

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Located in the heart of elk winter range in Montana’s Madison Valley, the Madison-Wall Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is now approximately 10 percent larger thanks to a land transfer from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).

“This is a tremendously unique project because we not only protected and conserved important elk habitat but actually improved it after removing a 3,000-square-foot home from the site,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “This is a classic example of a trophy house in the wrong spot. It was an intrusion on elk winter range but through creativity and partnership, we removed it and left behind open habitat for elk and other wildlife in perpetuity.”

In late 2014, RMEF acquired 631 acres of grassy rangeland 24 miles south of Ennis immediately adjacent to the WMA. The entire southern edge of the property borders the existing WMA while the eastern edge borders Bureau of Land Management land that runs clear to the Madison River.

RMEF recently conveyed the property to FWP.

“This is such an exciting addition to Wall Creek considering everything and everyone that benefit,” said Julie Cunningham, FWP area biologist. “First you have the 2,000 elk that use the WMA as crucial winter range, then the hundreds of mule deer and antelope that migrate through and – of course – the hunters who will now have access to hundreds more acres of huntable public land.”

RMEF oversaw a bidding process in 2015 that led to the removal of the house from the premises. FWP will use the remaining structures for management and administration purposes. The actual home site will be reseeded and a small man-made pond will be reclaimed.

In addition to preventing subdivision, the transaction improves and enhances public access to the now 7,188-acre WMA. It also expands hunting and fishing recreational opportunities, further protects the Madison River watershed, and allows for more elk tolerance by helping to prevent game damage issues.

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100-Plus Years to Realize What Settlers Learned in an Instant

*Editor’s Note* – I’ll never cease to be amazed at ignorance and how deeply ingrained into our society it is….or, this is simply a good money-making, job-security undertaking – “managing” wolves and acting stupid.

As settlers moved West, it was only a matter of hours before they figured out wolves were a problem. Add a few days to that and they soon realized killing one wolf caught with its paw in the cookie jar, didn’t stop wolves from attacking and killing more livestock…and sometimes people.

Push the clock ahead around over a hundred years, and brilliant, well-indoctrinated wildlife biologists, through ten years worth of data collection, are beginning to come to the conclusion that killing a problem wolf here and there, solves nothing.

But, just in case you’ve been asleep the past 20 years, the American people were lied to about wolves, wolf behavior and what kind of an impact (re)introducing wolves would have on people and livestock – THEY LIED!

Refusing to consider history, both in the United States and around the world, lying wolf pimps pushed for a (re)introduction – it meant millions of dollars. Ignorant Americans bought the lie. Most were just psychopaths in love with nasty wild dogs.

The history is clear! Wolves and human-settlement will not work. Settlers knew it in an instance. It didn’t take millions of dollars and illegal introductions, along with gobs of time and money spent on trying to figure out what a wolf would do if it found itself living just a short jog to a well-stocked ranch. The wolves attacked and the settlers killed them. And don’t buy into the lie that people killed wolves just because they were afraid of the boogie man. If you consider the intestinal fortitude it took to board a wagon and head into basically wilderness, I don’t think being afraid of wolves was first and foremost on their minds.

After the lies, illegal introductions of diseased wolves were let go, with no consideration of the Endangered Species Act of which is their cash cow.

Twenty years later, Montana wildlife officials think they have a better understanding of how to deal with wolves that become a problem for ranchers and their livestock. PROFOUND ISN’T IT?

Pick up a damned history book! It’s a no-brainer! Cheap too.

Ten years of data looking at how wolf-pack size and distribution predict livestock attacks has helped wolf managers improve their tools for protecting cattle and sheep. Livestock deaths have shown a steady decline in the past several years.

“When wolves were just starting to come back – when they were still federally protected – the goal was get them recovered and off the endangered species list,” Bradley said. “Sometimes those removals were conservative – one here and one there, to see if that would work. What we found was those small removals weren’t effective.

”In a cursory view, Bradley’s results seem obvious: Remove a wolf pack, remove a livestock problem.

Source: Wolf management reaching new levels of success in region | Local | missoulian.com

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